For every business, one of the most important goals is bringing in new customers. You would agree that the bigger goal is holding the customers for a longer period. Businesses need to constantly devise strategies to acquire and hold the customers onboard to be successful in the long run. Digital disruption and social media have brought more opportunities for the customers and brands. At the same time, this also intensified the competition in the market.
In this era, what makes customers stay with the brand for a longer time? Is it the price, product or service, brand, awareness, loyalty reward program, customer experience or marketing strategies? This is an ever-changing landscape.
In this article, you will get to know about the impact of brand intimacy on holding customers for a longer period by building brand intimacy. You will also discover ways to build brand intimacy to unlock next level of business growth.
What is Brand Intimacy?
Brand intimacy is the emotional science that measures the bonds we form with the brands we use and love. – MBLM
Why is Brand Intimacy matters?
Daniel Kahneman mentioned about the dominant role of emotional and intuitive processes on the human mind in his book ‘Thinking fast and slow’. Human beings use emotions as their first natural choice to take decisions.
As per Natarelli M. (2020), We now know that up to 90 percent of the decisions we make are based on emotion. Almost every decision we make is based on emotion, not rational thought, and measured consideration. The same is true for the consumer while taking purchase decision about the brands.
Hence, brands making a more emotional connect with the consumers are more likely to grow faster compared to other brands.
As per Brand Intimacy Study 2020, the most intimate brands have continued to perform better than the S&P and the Fortune 500 for ten years running when it comes to profit, revenue and other key financial indices. These percentage differences are significant and indicate intimate brands generate millions more dollars in revenue and profit annually and over the long term.
The top five intimate brand in USA of 2020 are – 1st Amazon, 2nd Disney, 3rd Apple, 4th Ford, 5th Jeep.
Figure 2- US Top 10 Most Intimate Brands 2020
Advantages of Brand Intimacy
- Focuses on the emotional science that drives on-brand behaviors and purchase.
- Promotes customer-centricity by enhancing bonds based on reciprocity.
- Demonstrates superiority as intimate brands outperform the S&P and Fortune 500 across profit and revenue.
- Consumers are more willing to pay a premium for highly intimate brands than for brands with lower levels of intimacy.
How is Brand Intimacy can be developed?
There are three simple steps can be taken to build the brand intimacy –
- Understand Where You Are Today
According to Daye D. (2020), the first step in building an iconic and thriving brand is to measure the emotions you are eliciting among your customers through all the touch points.
- Identify Where You Need To Go
Identify the emotions that your brand wants to be known for.
For example, “Apple not only understands emotions, they use emotions as the beacon to guide their strategy and marketing. Apple has identified its core emotions it wants every customer to feel across every single touch point with which they engage.
The four emotions that Apple aims to elicit among customers are delight, surprise, connection, and love. Whether it is a new product like the iPad, the interface and UI of the AppStore, or the customer experience of the Genius Bar, Apple consistently targets those four emotions to drive long-term brand growth through emotional connection with those that are most important to its future” Daye D. (2020).
- Bridge The Gap
“Once brand’s core emotions are identified, the key to building and growing the brand is executing every interaction with relentless consistency. The key to relentless consistency is to uncover which of your brand elements (i.e. colors, pack shape, logo lockup, brand script, brand characters, taglines, package shape, etc.) evoke the brand’s ‘core emotions’ and then ensure that these elements are executed across every touch point with relentless consistency” Daye D. (2020).
For example – Decathlon a French sports retail company measures the customers emotions after every sale through a digital monitor. They focus on delighting every customer. It forms the core of their culture. They have trained their staff to act like a coach rather than a salesman. They focus on understanding their needs of customers to recommend the best solution available. This gives decathlon an edge for building emotional bonds with their customers. They also engage customers by organizing various sports activities and adventures at regular intervals. As a result, Decathlon overtakes Adidas, Nike in sports gear retailing in India.
Emotions continue to remain the main influencer for arriving at the buying decision. The digital disruption and social media have brought consumers and brands closer to each other. The brands that are successful in build brand intimacy are more successful than their competitors in the long run. The entrepreneurs, business leaders, marketers and researcher have a great chance to emotionally engage with customers and create a win-win situation.
- How to Build Customer Loyalty with Brand Intimacy (CxOTalk #354), Available at – https://youtu.be/EB3JEEJXHxI [Accessed on 31st Dec 2021]
- Amazon ranked #1 company for “brand intimacy”, Available at – https://youtu.be/SZF2uOe8ifY [Accessed on 31st Dec 2021]
- Vogel K. (2020), 10 customer engagement strategies from real small businesses, Available at – https://www.ringcentral.com/us/en/blog/customer-engagement-strategies/, [Accessed on 31st Dec 2021]
- Natarelli M. (2020), How Emotion Drives Brand Choices And Decisions, Available at – https://www.brandingstrategyinsider.com/how-emotion-drives-brand-choices-and-decisions/, [Accessed on 31st Dec 2021]
- Daye D. (2020), Igniting Brand Growth Via Emotional Connections, Available at – https://www.brandingstrategyinsider.com/igniting-brand-growth-via-emotional-connections/, [Accessed on 31st Dec 2021]
- Malviya S. (2019), Decathlon overtakes Adidas, Nike in sports gear retailing, Available at – https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/services/retail/decathlon-overtakes-adidas-nike-in-sports-gear-retailing/articleshow/68804024.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst, [Accessed on 16th Sept 2021]
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